Traffic dominates the talk here in Los Angeles, but a visit by President Obama is snarling L.A.'s famous freeways more than usual. Obama is here, in part, to promote Innovation Week in Los Angeles. By shining a spotlight on Internet entrepreneurship, his visit provides plenty of reminders that ICANN's role coordinating technical resources of the Internet benefits the economy and people's lives. These reminders are a fitting countdown to ICANN's 51st public meeting.
The Century Plaza Hotel is abuzz with activity and demonstrates how much effort goes into each ICANN meeting. Every logistical detail and policy proposal results from weeks and weeks of preparation, requiring an incredible amount of time, personal commitment and creativity. I find it especially heartening to see members of the ICANN board, community and staff working together to prepare for the nearly 220 ICANN 51 sessions. The incredible array of topics, from the deeply technical, to the business-oriented and geo-political, is simply dazzling – like L.A. itself.
I look forward to Monday's remarks by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. I also am excited about the community-led sessions on IANA and Accountability and how Fadi Chehadé and Steve Crocker will convey the importance of this particular meeting. I do confess that the public forum, including video participation of remote hubs from Benin to Bogota, is the part of the meeting that inspires me the most. Talented people from around the world make an ICANN meeting happen, just as they make ICANN itself happen. The spirit many stakeholders describe as having existed at ICANN's creation is alive and well – and making an appearance in Los Angeles.